Holiday companies and banks going bust, together with high oil prices and higher aviation fuel costs might suggest that Malta, which is a three hour flight from her main market of the United Kingdom, might see a drop in tourist numbers for 2008.
And with the media reporting on a probable recession within months there could be even more reasons why a holiday in Malta might not be top of everyone's list for summer 2008.
But surprisingly reports from Malta suggest that the island could see a rise in the number of tourists taking a holiday there this year.
The holidays in Malta business might get an unexpected boost this summer too as Spain, which is the number one destination for European holidays, suffered adverse publicity in June as strikes over the price of fuel resulted in poor publicity suggesting some hotels and resorts were struggling to keep going.
But some in the travel industry think that the suggestions of a ten per cent rise in the number of tourists this year could be optimistic.
'We might have agreed with the analysis a couple of months ago', state leading Malta holidays internet site Your Malta 'But we have seen quite a decline in the number of people enquiring about holidays and hotels in Malta in the last couple of months, and the highest number of visitors will be July and August. Unless there's a sharp rise in the number of people taking late bookings we can't see the year overall showing a ten per cent rise, nothing like it.'
Indeed some analysts in the travel industry might agree that as the UK is the main market for Malta hotels and holidays, that falling house prices, job insecurity and a faltering economy could stop some Brits taking an overseas trip at all in 2008 in favour of a cheaper one on home soil.
Hotels In Malta
But whether the rise in the number of people taking a holiday in Malta this year is ten per cent or less than that, there is no doubt that the Malta hotels and holidays market has done well in the last three years, returning it to mainstream holiday destination status.
Malta has successfully diversified her market place, making it less reliant on the British tourist, who has been the mainstay of the Malta holidays industry in the past.
Budget airlines, and Malta's own airline - Air Malta - have opened new routes to Malta, allowing other Europeans apart from the British to have a Maltese holiday, and with Malta flights cheaper now than in previous years it has helped boost the number of British tourists too who might previously have been put off by the cost of flights to Malta compared to Spain and her islands.
Notable successes in the island's diversification has seen the number of tourists from Italy, Sweden, Norway and even Spain discover what Malta has to offer.
And it's not just cheap Malta flights that have attracted the holidaymakers - the island of Malta is steeped in history, churches, beaches and some of the hotels in Malta are now offering the best spa facilities in the Mediterranean.
The property industry in Malta has done well too, with an increase in tourists it has seen the number of overseas property buyers interested in buying a Malta property rise in recent years. Whether Malta real estate prices will continue rising though is dependent upon other economies, but increased interest could see Malta real estate hold its own compared to other islands.
And it will be interesting to see if Malta can do well again next year for their holidays, in times of low economic expectations in the UK and US.
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